Ophelia looks at the little town and must adjust her attitude to do business there.
Ophelia Randolph stepped down from the stage and stood by Sophia Feyd’s side. She shielded her face from the bright sun. She wouldn’t have this light in the city. On street level, the buildings would block the burning brightness. She took a deep breath and coughed slightly. The smell of dust after a heavy rain assaulted her nose in a way that made her nearly flinch in revulsion. She looked around at the brightly painted buildings and frowned. This little town almost looked too new, like it had sprung up on this dusty plain overnight. Children playing house on a life size scale.
She turned to her diminutive companion. “Why couldn’t Wattley have come to us?” she asked with a pout. “Why did we have to come to this place?” Her last word was emphasized with a sneer.
Sophia’s breathy voice came to her in the vacuum of her new surroundings. “You are the one who has made the offer. He doesn’t even want to sell.”
“This must be an unknown level of hell,” Ophelia mused darkly.
She felt vulnerable, exposed, being surrounded by such small buildings. She missed the city. Instead of sounds of carriages on the move, or the constant buzz of conversation from a large population she heard…nothing. Straining to identify something in the nothing, she could hear the shifting of horses and the wind moving between the small buildings. This same wind brushed against her face and lightly played with her blonde curls.
She hated it. Albert had always done the travelling while she stayed in the city and reaped the benefits. Albert would probably have liked this little town.
As the stage pulled away, Ophelia closed her eyes and took a slow breath. She needed to see this place as her late husband would. The smell that came to her now was a rich tapestry of horses from all around, fresh baked apple pies coming from the nearby hotel restaurant, hints of whiskey from the saloon in front of her and yes, fresh paint. She opened her eyes. The post office had just received a fresh coating of cheerful pale blue.
The buildings were pretty, in a hometown kind of sense that she had never felt. Now that she was privy to its inner beauty, she could hear more than the wind brushing through the nearly empty street. She could hear doors open to businesses and the murmur of life within. The town was a living, breathing entity with a bright future connected to the mill she wanted for her own. The two were inseparable. If she wanted one, she had to take the other.
Albert would love this place.